Giants observations: Thairo Estrada, Brandon Belt fuel sweep vs. Guardians

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What we learned as Estrada powers Giants' sweep of Guardians originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

CLEVELAND -- The Giants haven't yet had the powerful attack that became a hallmark of the 107-win club, but that hasn't mattered. Their pitching staff has the lowest ERA in the National League at the moment, and every day it seems like a different hitter steps up to provide enough breathing room.

On Sunday in Cleveland, it was Thairo Estrada's turn. The second baseman launched a two-run homer in the second and drove in four runs, leading the charge in an 8-1 win that clinched a sweep of the Guardians. It was the first interleague road sweep in six years for the Giants, who are 7-2 to start the year.

Estrada's second homer was followed by an RBI on a groundout and an RBI double. Any of those on their own would have been enough for Alex Wood, who pitched into the sixth without giving up a run.

Keeping It Going

Wood just followed what the rest of the rotation has been doing, scattering four hits and striking out five. He departed with two runners on and no outs in the sixth, but Zack Littell got a pop-up and double play.

With his scoreless appearance, Wood gave the rotation nine consecutive starts of two-or-fewer runs, the longest season-opening streak in franchise history. The previous record was held by the 2002 rotation that had Livan Hernandez and Russ Ortiz at the top to start the year.

Giants starters entered the day with the third-lowest ERA in the National League, behind only the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers. They'll get a chance to go up against the Mets, led by Max Scherzer, over the next four games.

There Was No Right Answer

The Giants scored a couple of runs in the fourth inning because first baseman Bobby Bradley couldn't get a ball out of his glove, and then couldn't get another one in his glove. It's been that kind of series for Guardians first basemen.

On Saturday, the go-ahead run scored when first baseman Owen Miller broke for home instead of covering first on a grounder to the right side. A day later, Bradley had two mistakes over there. The big one was a bizarre one.

With a runner on, Brandon Crawford hit what should have been an inning-ending double play, but Bradley couldn't get the ball out of his glove as he moved toward second base to make the throw. Both runners were safe and a walk of Wilmer Flores loaded the bases. Estrada followed with a grounder to short that again should have ended the inning, but Miller (now playing second base) made a low throw and Bradley whiffed on it, allowing the Giants to stretch a two-run lead to four.

Life is much easier when you have Brandon Belt over there.

"Oh Look, Frost"

It was 35 degrees at first pitch in Cleveland, making this the coldest Giants game since Stats LLC. started tracking temperatures in 1990. According to their database, this was just the third Giants game under 40 degrees in the last 32 years (not counting all the nights at Candlestick and Oracle that *felt* like 30 degrees).

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Alex Wood went with short sleeves and Curt Casali kept one arm bare, but the rest of the Giants bundled up with long sleeves and more. The best look was in left field, where Bay Area native Joc Pederson wore a black balaclava on his head and a hand warmer around his waist.

The latter certainly worked. Pederson helped Wood by throwing Jose Ramirez out at second base with two outs in the first inning.

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